PENDLETON — Bull rider Cody Teel is no stranger to Pendleton, as the Texas native has previously made the trip to compete in the famous Round-Up.
But on Monday night, Teel stopped at the smaller venue to west of the Round-Up for the first time to compete in the Banner Bank Pendleton PBR Classic at Happy Canyon Arena. And he made his debut worth his time, as Teel was the lone rider to tame two bulls and ended up with the opening night victory.
“Both bulls were really good, but the second bull in the short go didn’t have his best day,” Teel said of his rides. “But it felt good to get my work in and it’s something I’ve been needing. I got two bulls rode today and I’m coming back tomorrow, so I’ll be a little more aggressive with my approach, but it felt good to get two under my belt tonight.”
In Teel’s first ride, he took on Singlewide from Korkow Rodeo and scored an 80.5 point ride, which placed him seventh after the first go round. Then in the short go, Teel rode New West Rodeo’s War Cry for a 72.5 point ride, though he did get an option for a re-ride. He thought about taking it, but after watching rider after rider get bucked off in the short go, he decided to keep his first ride and take home the $4,033.68 bonus.
“I didn’t expect to stay up there first of all,” Teel said. “I thought I might float down to third or fourth with the guys that were behind me, some dang sure good bull riders and some of the best in the world, but that just goes to show the bull power here.
“But I know tomorrow everybody will come with their guns a blazing and get some more bulls rode.”
After five straight buck-offs began the night in the first section, Brazilian rider Ramon de Lima got the crowd going with a energetic 87.5 point ride on Four Star Rodeo’s Blizzard. After fellow Brazilian’s Claudio Montanha Jr. and Robson Aragao both scored 84 point rides, the event hit a bit of a lull as Section 3 and Section 4 went along with only one qualified ride out of the next 12.
That was until Australian Lachlan Richardson took advantage of an earlier re-ride option to end the long round as he rode Sankey/Robinson’s Soldier Boy for 86.5 points that scored him a $1,210.10 bonus.
One of the buck-offs in Section 4 was two-time defending champion and Walla Walla native Derek Kolbaba, who lasted roughly four seconds on Sankey/Robinson’s Fast Cars.
“I just let him beat me out of the bucking chute,” a disappointed Kolbaba said afterwards. “He got me leaned back a little bit too much, but we’ll go home and fix it and come back tomorrow and make up for it.”
Kolbaba, who currently sits fifth in the world standings with more than $181,000 in earnings, began the night with a huge ovation during the rider introductions while perched atop the chutes. He again got an ovation from the crowd prior to his ride, something he said he’ll never get tired of hearing as long as he competes in Pendleton.
“I tell everybody that this is my favorite event to come to and of the year,” he said. “It’s pretty awesome to have the support that’s here and the people that are behind me back up here in the Northwest, it’s pretty awesome to have and I’m pretty blessed.”
Like Kolbaba, Teel said that the Pendleton PBR may be one of his favorite events on the tour already. And even though Happy Canyon is a smaller venue than most of the PBR tour, it’s one he can’t wait to compete again on Tuesday and for years to come.
“It’s amazing here. With the grandstand the way they are, stacked in on top of you, you feed off that energy,” he said. “It’s a small arena, but it’s just the right size for bull riding in my opinion and the crowd here is awesome.”
And between the long and short gos, three bullfighters from the Bullfighter’s Only tour took to the arena dirt to face off against some rank Spanish fighting bulls. After four total fights, it was O’Neill, Nebraska native Beau Scheuth that came out on top as he spun and juked his way to an 86 point fight, edging out Meeteese, Wyoming’s Dusty Tuckness (84.5) and Apachee, Oklahoma’s Justin Josey (72).
The Pendleton PBR Classic will pick back up on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. at Happy Canyon Arena.
Pendleton PBR Classic
Round 1 Results
1. Ramond de Lima, 87.5 on Four Star’s Blizzard, $1,613.47; 2. Lachlan Richardson, 86.5 on Sankey/Robinson’s Soldier Boy, $1,210.10; 3. Claudio Montanha Jr., 84 on Brookman Rodeo’s Damn It’s Good, $605.05; 3. Robson Aragao, 84 on Brookman Rodeo’s Hot Potato, $605.05; 5. Cody Casper, 82 on Brookman Rodeo’s Smokin’ Good; 5. Emilio Resende, 82 on Sankey/Robinson’s HMS Chiddingfold; 7. Cody Teel, 80.5 on Korkow’s Singlewide; 9. Bryan Titman, 79.5 on Korkow’s Bad Black; 10. Chase Robbins, 78.5 on Four Star’s Morty.
Round 2 Results
1. Cody Teel, 72.5 on New West’s War Cry, $4,033.68.
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